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HDFS Grad Student Etta Joins Bouchet Society

Congratulations are in order for Roxanne Etta, graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies for induction into the prestigious Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

The Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. According to the UW-Madison Graduate School announcement, individuals were selected for their exemplary qualities of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

During her time in the SoHE graduate program Etta has proven herself a high performing and visionary scholar, having received several intramural awards recognizing excellence in research. She has led Associate Professor Heather Kirkorian’s lab effort to examine how young children learn from different types of books (print versus electronic, interactive versus non-interactive). Dr. Heather Kirkorian “Roxy Etta’s drive and passion for young children are the bedrock of the work we do in the lab,” stated Heather Kirkorian, Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development.

Roxanne Etta’s scholarship began with an independent research project she developed as the basis of her master’s thesis. In her first study she developed original storybooks to maximize experimental control, recruited preschool partners, and supervised undergraduate assistants who helped her to collect data from more than 100 preschool-age children. She presented her research findings at several national and international conferences and was invited to present her work at a 2017 pre-conference workshop on early literacy, and was invited to write a chapter for a forthcoming edited volume on electronic books (currently in press).

Kirkorian goes on to say, “Her research findings will enable her to contribute to recommendations for educators, parents, and policymakers regarding the efficacy of eBooks for early learning. Such evidence-based recommendations are crucial as more children spend more time with digital media, and at younger ages, than ever before. “

The ceremony and celebration occurs April 2 2019.


The Bouchet Graduate Honor Society honors exemplary scholars who are committed to using their education to advance leadership, diversity research and/or public service. The society honors Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African-American doctoral recipient in the United States (Ph.D. from Yale University in 1876.)